Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Cold Steel Viking Axe - unboxing and initial thoughtsProduct Review Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page 1, 2  Next 
Author Message
Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Tue 17 Dec, 2013 3:17 pm    Post subject: Cold Steel Viking Axe - unboxing and initial thoughts         Reply with quote

Howdy folks,
My Cold Steel Viking axe arrived today! This is a repro of a Dane axe - whether a specific archaeological example or not, I'm unsure.


The head is in a seperate box - fitting required! Came with a little instruction sheet.


Head packaged up with two sets of screws. Why they chose screws is beyond me.


Head geometry. This sucker is thin! This ain't no woodsman's axe, this axe is for skull splitting. First complaint: WAY too much meat around the eye. Completely unnecessary amount of metal.


Haft cross section and grain alignment are both good. The end grain should run parallel to the bit of the axe - if it runs perpendicular, swinging it too hard can 'delaminate' the wood and cause lengthwise cracks.


Initial assembly - the hickory had a varnish on it that you can kinda see here. It was very glossy. As far as varnishes go, it was well done. But I hate varnish. I sanded the varnish off and oiled it. Much better!


Screwed together. Why a screw, cold steel!? I'd have preferred them to send me a rivet with a note that says 'Do it yourself!' but I guess it's to be expected. Cold steel are fairly well known for 'updating' designs. Oh well. I'll rivet it down the line when I get a 1/4" steel rivet.


It was sharpish. Sometimes cut, sometimes didn't. Probably plenty sharp enough for battle, but I sharpened it anyway.

Now for the glamor shots!





Hand axe for scale.

The haft is 48" long from end to end. Cutting edge is 10". Tell you the truth, it feels great in the hand, and nowhere near as clumsy as one may expect. I guess that when talking about swords, people think about balance points and their relevance when holding the weapon with only the last 6-10" or so. But, of course, with this axe I have about 43" of grip space. It can be a chopping beast or have a little more grace. I like it!

Well folks, there she is. I like it a lot. Now I just need to find a 200lb pig to test it on..

Pete
View user's profile Send private message
Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,256

PostPosted: Tue 17 Dec, 2013 6:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just got an email from CS regarding their Christmas sale. They have them for $121....not bad. Don't remember what KOA has them for. I want one...bad. But, yes, that shiney varnish has to go....and mine WILL be riveted through. Maybe some handle studs and leather wrap, just to barbarize it some! Big Grin .......McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
View user's profile Send private message
Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Tue 17 Dec, 2013 6:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah the more I think about it the more I want to rivet it; I should know by now that things eat at me! Still, it shouldn't be hard to do even with the hole drilled for the larger setscrew. If I can find a 1/4" piece of soft steel though, that would be ideal - maybe soften a small bolt or large nail.

PS: I found that eBay had the best price - I think a little under $120 including shipping!
View user's profile Send private message
Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,256

PostPosted: Tue 17 Dec, 2013 7:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A piece of aluminum brazing rod, available at most any welding shop, would do just as well. I've pinned many knives with it. Copper ground rod wire works too. (The wire the power companies use to ground electric poles.) It's stiff, and looks cool when peened with a small, pointed hammer. A lot easier to work. Big Grin .......McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
View user's profile Send private message
Greg E




Location: Nebraska
Joined: 14 Jul 2013
Likes: 7 pages
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 104

PostPosted: Tue 17 Dec, 2013 7:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can find them for under $100 shipped on Amazon. That is where I got mine.

I agree with the observation that there is too much steel around and in front of the eye. Mine came pretty sharp, no need to do anything to the edge. The screw doesn't really bother me much anymore. A serious axe for sure.
View user's profile Send private message
Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,256

PostPosted: Tue 17 Dec, 2013 7:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some say this axe is too flimsy for any real heavy cutting. They must realize that this axe was meant to kill men, not trees. I hope you don't kill any men with it, though. Laughing Out Loud I have two CS tomahawks...a Norse and a Pipe hawk(solid head, no pipe) and they are the toughest axes I have ever had. Almost indestructible. If you can ever wire-brush wheel off all that godawful black paint, the grainy steel underneath looks cool as hell. Heck of a good buy. If you don't already have one, get yourself a Norse hawk to go with that big Viking. You can't go wrong. Big Grin .........McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
View user's profile Send private message
Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Tue 17 Dec, 2013 8:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I also have the Cold Steel Pipe hawk and it is a fine hawk, my next purchase probably will be the norse hawk. I haven't thought much of a lot of Cold Steel products I've had, but they definitely got it right with the axes!

Regarding the pin, I thought about copper or aluminum but am a little concerned about its strength - I'd be worried about it shearing off with a hard stab. I bought a couple steel nails to try riveting - I've riveted plenty of smaller diameter nails for my spear and the smaller axe pictured but never something 1/4" in diameter before so that'll be interesting! Also, the holes on either side of the head are a different size and I'm not completely sure how easy it will be to drill that out. Worst case scenario, I plug the 1/4" hole in the wood, drill a smaller diameter hole and just use a smaller nail.

Pete

PS: I agree, this is designed as a man killer not a tree chopper - something I think a lot of people get confused on as they admire the beauty of weapons. It may be grim but it's what they are!
View user's profile Send private message
William Swiger




Location: Reston, VA
Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 443

PostPosted: Tue 17 Dec, 2013 9:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have one that came a couple months ago. Have not gotten around to putting it together yet. Blush
Non Timebo Mala
View user's profile Send private message
Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Tue 17 Dec, 2013 9:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I got restless and riveted the head on. It was a chore! My drill bits would remove an almost imperceptible amount of metal so gave up on that. What I wound up doing was using the 1/4" nails and grinding the end down to a smaller diameter to fit through the smaller hole. That was a pain but got it done - the bit that was a real chore was peening the end inside the counterbored hole! I annealed the steel before trying, and hammered away. The steel moved great, but I just couldn't fill the counterbored hole. It's tight enough that it isn't going anywhere (I used a center punch to help spread it out) but it doesn't look quite right. I wish I had a welder to fill and redrill it!

Oh well, ether way, it is pinned in a period correct way with a rivet that should hold up!
View user's profile Send private message
Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 854

PostPosted: Wed 18 Dec, 2013 5:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cool post. I wish everyone who had the ability to post their purchases or projects
went to this kind of trouble ; showing the item almost right off the porch, still in the
box, etc etc ...

I really do appreciate seeing how companies and craftsmen package or crate the
products we buy. And I believe it is an important factor when thinking about who
you might buy an item from ...

Cool axe, too !
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Wed 18 Dec, 2013 9:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Messent wrote:
My drill bits would remove an almost imperceptible amount of metal


did you use just a powered hand drill? I used one on tempered steel a few times, I went from burning up bits to just flat out breaking them. your riveting sounds fine, you'll be surprised at just how little of a peen you need to hold something in. as you peen you also widen the entire shank of the rivet so its also being held by a little friction not just the peen. quick fix too, if it ever come a little loose just smack it was the peen of a ball peen hammer a few times. CS may have used screws because their user friendly - everyone understands a screw - although I don't think its the best idea for an ax head it will eventually loosen and just tightening it will lead to stripping the wood.

my brother got a few CS hawks very early ones, they look very plan as to what they have out now. their pipe hawk is appealing to me.
View user's profile Send private message
Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Wed 18 Dec, 2013 11:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Wallace wrote:
Peter Messent wrote:
My drill bits would remove an almost imperceptible amount of metal


did you use just a powered hand drill? I used one on tempered steel a few times, I went from burning up bits to just flat out breaking them. your riveting sounds fine, you'll be surprised at just how little of a peen you need to hold something in. as you peen you also widen the entire shank of the rivet so its also being held by a little friction not just the peen. quick fix too, if it ever come a little loose just smack it was the peen of a ball peen hammer a few times. CS may have used screws because their user friendly - everyone understands a screw - although I don't think its the best idea for an ax head it will eventually loosen and just tightening it will lead to stripping the wood.

my brother got a few CS hawks very early ones, they look very plan as to what they have out now. their pipe hawk is appealing to me.

I used my drill press with cutting oil - just screamed unfortunately. I agree the rivet will likely hold, it's just not as aesthetically pleasing as I'd like Big Grin The screw doesn't actually screw into the wood, there's a male and female machine screw - another downside though is that the female screw is aluminum. I messed the first one up pretty good!

The pipe hawk is pretty nice - I had the trail hawk before, and I like the pipe hawk better. It's very nicely made with attractive lines and good steel.


Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz wrote:
Cool post. I wish everyone who had the ability to post their purchases or projects
went to this kind of trouble ; showing the item almost right off the porch, still in the
box, etc etc ...

I really do appreciate seeing how companies and craftsmen package or crate the
products we buy. And I believe it is an important factor when thinking about who
you might buy an item from ...

Cool axe, too !


Thanks! I too consider that important, and I have had some good and bad packaging. I had one sword that was sticking out of the box when I got it!
View user's profile Send private message
Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
Joined: 20 Oct 2003
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,499

PostPosted: Wed 18 Dec, 2013 11:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What the heck?? A screw?? Really??

What were they thinking?
View user's profile Send private message
Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 5,686

PostPosted: Wed 18 Dec, 2013 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
What the heck?? A screw?? Really??

What were they thinking?


It's a Cold Steel product, that says it all.

If it were mine, I'd weld up the screw holes and finish then off so as to be invisible. I'd then secure the head to the haft in a more traditional way. The geometry of the head is all wrong, but there's nothing to be done about that. Eliminating the screw wholes would at least off aesthetic improvement.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
View user's profile Send private message
Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Wed 18 Dec, 2013 2:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While the geometry may be off, it's still nice to see that the blade is nice and thin... it's clearly a cutting tool rather than some weird hybrid of a wood-chopping axe and battleaxe.
View user's profile Send private message
Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Wed 18 Dec, 2013 3:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
What the heck?? A screw?? Really??

What were they thinking?


It's a Cold Steel product, that says it all.


I agree, the CS Tomahawks also have a set-screw arrangement to keep the head on, which is completely unnecessary.

Patrick Kelly wrote:
The geometry of the head is all wrong, but there's nothing to be done about that. Eliminating the screw wholes would at least off aesthetic improvement.


I agree, welding the screw holes closed and wedging the head on rather than using a tapered handle would be the ideal solution, and if I ever get a welder I likely will. As for the geometry, would you be able to tell me what about it is all wrong (other than the ridiculously thick eye walls of course)? I love axes, but I haven't had much of an opportunity to look at archaeological examples of them. I do think that it would be better with a 'reinforced'/thicker edge/hollow ground bit, but I was under the impression that some historical examples were also just very thin without the thickening towards the cutting edge.

Thanks,
Pete
View user's profile Send private message
Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 5,686

PostPosted: Thu 19 Dec, 2013 12:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You've already figured it out.. The eye is far too thick and really ruins the proportion of the head. Cold Steel has a penchant for over building everything, often with no discernable reason. I have one of their rapiers. It's actually a nice design with some interesting features, but it's huge and built like a tank.
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
View user's profile Send private message
Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Thu 19 Dec, 2013 12:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree 100% with that. What really boggles my mind is why they knew to make the bit thin but still thought that the metal around the eye needed to be 3/8" thick! I would like to try and thin out the walls, but I don't think my grinder's up to it - it is a lot of material! I still might give it a try, eventually I'm going to replace the handle with ash and I might give it a whirl then.

Thanks,
Pete
View user's profile Send private message
Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,256

PostPosted: Thu 19 Dec, 2013 4:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can only presume that they built up the metal around the eye for weight purposes. If it were much thinner, it would feel shaft-heavy, I believe. I don't own one (yet) but I have held one. The example I held felt pretty good in-hand and was sharpened by the owner to a near razor-edge. It was a water bottle killin' beast. I know....We must have went through about 40 plastic bottles and milk jugs that day. I haven't swung that much since my high school baseball days. Laughing Out Loud ....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
View user's profile Send private message
Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
Joined: 20 Oct 2003
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,499

PostPosted: Thu 19 Dec, 2013 12:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Viking and Medieval fighting axes were not crude tools. The Petersen type L and M types, (which this piece seems to be trying to get at) have dynamic and complex proportions.

Historic axe designs don't lend themselves to mass production at low cost without coming out looking grossly inaccurate and exhibiting atypical handling for the type.

If one simply wants to cut bottles these pieces work quite well- but not as representatives of the historical specimens.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Cold Steel Viking Axe - unboxing and initial thoughtsProduct Review
Page 1 of 2 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum